With Christmas lights and decorations still donning buildings and homes across the lake area, visions of Mardi Gras begin to show. SW La. kicksoff its Mardi Gras 2016 season Tuesday, January 6, with the annual Twelfth Night Parade Extravaganza inside the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum. Twelfth Night-twelve days after Christmas-is the legendary beginning of the Mardi Gras season prior to Lent. Following tradition, Mardi Gras royalty of last year wave their symbolic good-byes to the thousands who turn out to see the grand fanfare of costumes and to greet the new season. Many of the fabulous costumes will take their places in the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu. This year Fat Tuesday is February 9th.